Kazbar Systems has recently completed the design and construction of two motion capture and voiceover studios within a large office complex in London.
The Design Brief
The Client required two Control Rooms and two Performance Areas to be constructed on the second floor of a large office premises which is adjacent to a number of internal offices and a busy market high street.
In order for the Studios to operate 24 hours a day the isolation performance of the two Control Rooms and two Performance Areas had to achieve in excess of 80dB RW.
The project began with a number of onsite meetings, during which we established the Client requirements and ascertained the strengths and weaknesses of the host building to ensure the project is feasible and can be delivered within the budget.
Once the feasibility study was concluded we then provided the Client with a range of conceptual drawings and CAD renders for discussion and further development.
Having agreed the final layout and specification, Kazbar then submitted the designs to Building Control for review and confirmation that the proposed design conforms to all current Building Regulations
There were several rainwater and sewerage pipes running at high level in the host building, all of which had the potential to compromise audio recordings, so we employed a number of measures to isolate and or contain them.
A number of other services were present within the host building, including; AC, fire detection and warning, alarm systems, network cabling and emergency lighting, all of which required modification by our specialist team to be utilised within the new Studios.
Construction and Project Management
Dave Eccleston, Kazbar Systems Technical and Project Manager managed all phases of the construction, personnel and Client Direct Contractors to ensure that the project was delivered to the highest standard, on time and on budget.
The Client required the aesthetic of the studio to match the colour scheme of the Company logo and branding. This was achieved by matching RAL colours and a careful selection of a range of fabric finishes.
Dave Eccleston, in conjunction with the Client’s Technical Manager designed the audio, video and data cabling solution to provide a highly flexible and future proof system. The audio, video and data ties between the studios and the wider network cabling infrastructure was installed and test by Oda Holm, Kazbar Systems’ Technical Engineer.
Motion Capture Cameras
Central to the Client’s services is an advanced motion capture camera array. The location of the cameras and proximity to the performers is critical to achieve accurate motion capture data.
The motion capture system that was implemented into the Studios required mounting locations for 16 cameras at high level around the perimeters of each performance area. This was achieved by installing high level narrow diameter bars, all of which were powder coated in black to reduce visual reflection and provide a future proof solution should a new motion capture system be integrated in the future.
Each camera required dedicated CAT6 cabling, was powered over ethernet (PoE) and was connected back to a large network hub which was in turn connected to the Studio Macs.
Lighting for video production studios is critical to not only illuminate the subject in the correct spectrum of light and to avoid unwanted shadowing, it is also critical that the lighting doesn’t interact with the camera systems, which can cause a flickering or strobing effect.
Flicker or strobing effects are caused by the on/off repetition of square wave pulses of power and their interaction with the frame rate of the cameras. The problem is exhibited when the frame rate is evenly divisible by the frequency of the mains power supply.
Kazbar Systems supplied and installed a number of bespoke HF/MF and LF absorbers into both Control Rooms and Live Rooms which were fitted directly to the walls and ceilings. The installed acoustic treatments tempered the room acoustic to below the target value reverb times of 0.3 seconds in the Control Room and 0.4 seconds in the Live Rooms, providing controlled acoustic performance and accuracy.
Fire Detection and Warning
Fire detection and warning systems are vital to ensure safety and are also a fundamental requirement of Building Control. Working closely with the Client Direct Contractor, the fire detection and warning system for all areas of the new Studio accommodation was successfully integrated into the building wide system.
Client Handover and Building Control Sign Off
Once the studio construction had been completed the construction, fit out and safety systems were certified by our team and final Building Control sign off on the project was given.